ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Regina T Praetorius


This three-article, mixed-methods dissertation looked at the nature of U.S. foster parent stress and resilience both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first article employed a Qualitative Interpretive Meta-Synthesis (QIMS) approach to answer the question, “What do foster parents tell us about their greatest points of stress in the foster care system?” Foster parent voices (n=572) from twenty-one existing qualitative articles were analyzed until themes emerged. The second article aimed to fill a gap in the literature with a deeper understanding of foster parents’ lived experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with n=20 foster parents across one Southern U.S. state. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed utilizing a phenomenological approach until themes emerged. All themes from the first two articles are described in detail with supporting quotations and any corresponding subthemes. The third article included a quantitative analysis of foster parent stress utilizing a sample of n=136 foster parents across the Southern state. A multiple linear regression was calculated to measure the association of participants’ parental stress score (PSS) with protective factors (PAPF), intolerance of uncertainty (IUS-12), level of COVID-19 stress, and single caregiver status, and a significant regression equation was found. Implications for practice, policy, and future research are discussed for each article and the overall dissertation.


Child welfare, Foster care, Foster parents, Foster parenting, COVID-19 pandemic, Stress and resilience


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons